Demand for both permanent and contract IT staff is now firmly on an upward trend and the uncertain second half of last year is fast becoming a distant memory, according to the latest survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
The permanent staff index leapt by 19% in the first two months of this year and was up again slightly in March, to its highest level in 20 months. The index gradually fell from its starting point of more than 80 in October 1997 to 57 last November, but it is now back up to 69.
IT contract staff can also celebrate, their index has moved from decline to growth after being the only group to see a decline in demand throughout the second half of last year. A 17% rise in January took the IT contractor index to 53. The index was also 53 in February and last month it rose by 4% to 55.
The skills most in demand are related to e-commerce. The survey reveals Java programmers, Web programmers, Internet designers and general e-commerce specialists to be growth areas. Unix, C++ programmers, object technology specialists and technical support people are also in short supply.